A hoard of Bronze Age items was found just weeks ago in a Swedish forest by an orienteering enthusiast who was working on a map. Dozens of bronze relics dating back more than 2,500 years were discovered with the majority of the hoard consisting of ancient jewelry.
The items were found outside of the town of Alingsås in the western part of Sweden. A cartographer named Tomas Karlsson was in the woods updating a map when he noticed what he thought was junk laying on the ground. “It looked like metal garbage. Is that a lamp lying here, I thought at first,” he explained to the Dagens Nyheter newspaper.
He went on to say that when he got a closer look at the “garbage”, he saw a spiral and a necklace. “But it all looked so new. I thought they were fake,” he said. He then contacted the local authorities who sent a team of archaeologists to the site to study the relics in further detail.
The County Administrative Board described the hoard as being one of “the most spectacular and largest cache finds” from the Bronze Age that has been discovered in Nordic Country. The relics, which have been dated back to between 750 BC and 500 BC, contained numerous pieces of bronze jewelry described as “very well preserved necklaces, chains and needles.” In addition to the 50 bronze artifacts, 20 indeterminate bronze items and 10 iron fragments were also discovered as well as materials from bronze casting, horse spurs, and a rod.
Incredibly, the items were just lying out on the ground in the forest in front of some boulders. It is believed that the relics were previously between the boulders and some animals more than likely dug them up. While ritualistic artifacts are normally found close to sacred places like rivers, lakes, or springs, the fact that they were discovered in a forest is rather odd.
As for who owned these bronze relics, they could have belonged to “a woman of high status from the Bronze Age,” as stated by Johan Ling who is a professor of archeology at the University of Gothenburg. Ling went on to say, “They have been used to adorn different body parts, such as necklaces, bracelets and ankle bracelets, but there were also large needles and eyelets used to decorate and hold up different pieces of clothing, probably made of wool.”
Pictures of some of the relics can be seen here.